tv Sanjay Gupta MD CNN January 25, 2014 1:30pm-2:01pm PST
sp spontaneous fashion. >> and shotguns as well, we see them in movies where we think of them as extraordinarily powerful weapons. they can be or they can can be a small caliber shotgun, .20 gaun gauge. >> 410, 20, 16 which is a little obsolete. shotguns to shotguns unto themselves are lethal. >> they said when they saw the body and saw the number of shells around it. they backed off at that point. why? >> i think they may have been concerned for possibly ignition issues. you don't faknow what this kid could have rigged. you saw this assortment of ammunition on the floor you're wondering was he just supplying himself, for example. there are a whole lot of dynamics that lend itself spontaneously. i don't know if they necessarily took a step back but i'm sure they took inventory of the fact
that there was a lot of ammunition there with two dead bodies. he didn't have to arm up, for example, with a lot of ammunition to just go out and kill two people in their 20s. >> sounds like this was contained to a single store there with bodies inside the store and possibly just outside the store. one person has been taken to the hospital. it's not clear whether that person taken to the hospital was just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time or was also a target of this shooting. is there anything about the layout that the police have talked about at this point that raises questions in your mind. >> no, i think they're just going to have to go in and try to recreate exactly what happened to the best of their ability, in a positive note is going to be the byproduct of the cameras installed and statements of witnesses who saw what went on here. what i find interesting here is that he took the life of -- lives of two young people and then himself. it wasn't as if he went into a
type of aurora shooting mode where we were just randomly shooting at people. that's where we have this confusion about a quantity of ammuniti ammunition, yet a limited target number. see what i'm saying? that's just, you know -- >> this is the second time we've seen in a mall a shooting like this in t last month, month and a half or so. we're going to talk to evan bettis coming up here after the break as well who has more information about what exactly happened in columbia, maryland.
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this happened on the third floor? >> yeah, by jcpenney. >> it happened by jcpenney? >> yes. yeah, no, it wasn't -- yeah, it wasn't the first floor in the food court. >> first floor of the food court? >> yes. we are on the second floor and we hear. we hear, see everybody is running. >> you said first floor or third floor. >> third floor. >> food court? >> looked like the guy shot him from the second floor but -- >> we are following every detail of the latest american tragedy. this time in columbia, maryland, at a mall, howard county mall in columbia, maryland. we have with us on the phone evan bettis. he's just justice correspondent. the police, evan, very, very clear in saying they don't have a motive yet, but you are hearing other wise. what do you have? >> well, miguel, again, we've
been, as we've been reporting all afternoon, this is a very preliminary information from the scene. one of the reasons why we're rrting it is so people can understand a little bit. obviously these things are always scary no matter what the situation is, what the motive is. if you're in the mall and there's shooting, obviously everyone's scared. but i find it interest that the howard county police said they were not ready yet to confirm or to say what the motive is. our reporting from what we've been told from people briefed on the investigation is that the preliminary indications are just based on what they see, was that they believe it might have been a domestic dispute or domestic situation that led to this shooting. obviously there's a lot of work left for the howard county police to do at the scene three-point and to try to establish fully what happened. i thought one of the reasons why we reported what we did was to sort of give people the context
at the time, especially early on, there was a lot of people still stuck in the mall. i'm sure they were trying to find information. and not that, you know, domestic situation is any less scary or less concerning, but it does change the tenor of what is happening at the mall, rather than someone coming in randomly shooting at people, something that might have been more contained. so that's what we were trying to portray by relaying the information that we had. and again, all the caveats are important, which is that it's early information, it's still being worked on. the police are still at the scene trying to establish as they're going through -- as the howard county police chief said, they're still going through the video to try to see what exactly happened when the shooter came up to this man or this woman after zumiez store and opened fire. >> i went to bring in lou
palumbo as well and if you have questions for evan, evan, stay with us. it is likely that search warrants are being served right now, yes? what are they looking for? >> they're trying to create a profile of the shooter, first of all, and try to yooid identify relationship with this victims. going through the cellphone records, he has a cellphone, computers, interviewing neighbors. they want to know as much about this individual as they possibly can and as much about the potential relationship he may have had with the victims as they possibly can. they want to create a kind of framework of what took place between these three people. >> evan, i don't know if your sources are saying anything about this but is there any sense that the one individual taken to the hospital with a wound from a gun, that they were a target of the shooting or just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? >> no, there's nonindication yet of anybody else having -- we don't know what that injury is.
my understanding is that the -- the shooter -- the person came in and shot this man and this woman, then took the gun and shot himself at the scene there. it does appear that that is the limit of what was done, there are people who were injured fleeing the scene. somebody apparently had a cardiac situation perhaps in this scary moments right after that. and some people had injuries, ankle injuries and so on. which is very common, obviously, in this situation. so, again, this is, again, early information is what we're working on with -- working with here and the police are trying to figure out what took place, obviously. >> did they identify the victims by gender yet? did they say whether it was male or female? >> one male, one female. >> one female, that's right. >> shooter was male. we're going to get back to a little bit of that information. evan, stand by for us. we are going to take a quick break. we will be back with breaking
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the back of the store in the fitting room area, i mean, literally just, you know, where do you go? you're in a fitting room area. someone is going to come in. you're still just as vulnerable. >> chaos in columbia, maryland. the howard county mall there. the latest scene of the latest shooting in america. i'm here with lou palumbo who is a former law enforcement official. lou, if this does turn out to be a domestic situation which cnn is hearing from our sources, police there sort of pushing back, not saying they don't have that yet, but these guys do work very quickly, we do know. does this -- does this fit the profile of that? and why do it publicly? >> it may have done it publicly because of an accessibility, convenience issue, or mthey may have done it publicly because of notoriety. personal pain or anguish. we're now trying to explore the
psyche of the individual who carried out the two murders. >> agencies are prepared to look at that psyche now and try and figure out why people do that. >> absolutely. our federal agencies in particular have behavioral scientists. we're not quite there locally in local law enforcement but fbi and secret service have forensic psychologists behavioral scientists that need to understand what drives people. oftentimes with the secret service they receive correspondents that are threatening to the president. they need to create a profile of the individual as accurately as they possibly can in an attempt to predict the likelihood of them carrying out an intention. >> yeah. evan bettis,perez, i want to br back in. they did push back a little bit on the fact that this -- they're saying it is not fact yet that this was a domestic situation. but certainly the preliminary information that you are hearing is that it is. was there anything else, though,
in that press conference that stuck out to you? >> well, you know, again, the way they respond to these things as mr. palumbo has been saying is really remarkable and the quickness at which they were able to get in there, you know, is very reassuring for people. i'm very familiar with that mall. i've been there many, many times. it's up in the northern suburbs between d.c. and baltimore. not far from the nsa headquarters, for instance. it's very sbrising that they say that they have trained in this mall for exact li thly this typ situation. you can tell they were very quickly able to determine what had happened, what this was very limited to just this three victims. obviously it's going to take a lot more work to establish exactly what happened and the
howard county police in their twitter feed keeps tweeting at me that it has not been confirmed and we're obviously saying that, as well. the early indications, again, that's what we've been reporting, is that the early information was that they believed it was possibly a domestic situation. i think that remains the theory that they're working on and right now they're just, again, trying to go through the -- any background they can find on this alleged shooter and the victims to determine exactly how they're all tied together, miguel. >> all right, evan, stick with us. coming up in a few moments we're going to have ken ulman. hey guys! sorry we're late. did you run into traffic? no, just had to stop by the house to grab a few things. you stopped by the house? uh-huh. yea. alright, whenever you get your stuff, run upstairs, get cleaned up for dinner. you leave the house in good shape? yea. yea, of course. ♪ [ sportscaster talking on tv ] last-second field go--
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county mall. three people are dead. five people are at the hospital. after this shooting, cnn has information that it may, in fact, be a domestic dispute that was targeted publicly at this mall. standing by we have erin mcpike at the mall along with the county executive there who can fill us in a bit more on the details. erin? >> miguel, this is ken ullman, howard county executive. you may have seen him earlier at the press conference. i want to ask you a little bit more about the first responders. you said they got into the scene very quickly. can you tell us a little bit about the train that they had because everybody has been very impressed by how quickly everybody was able to respond and deal with the situation. >> sure. we have an unbelievably professional attack team, s.w.a.t. team. but also the patrol officers. we put a lot of priority and training. unfortunately post-columbine, you know, we beefed up our
efforts, train with our school system, do active shooter training and a number of public places where it be schools or large gathering places. we've been in the columbia mall doing that kind of training with regional partners and i talked to some of our folks on the attack team and said, how did you feel like it went with all of our regional partners. they said actually better than they would have even expected. so it all came together. they were -- we were first officer was on the scene about a minute and a half. so i am incredibly proud of our men and women in law enforcement and the job they did. >> now, obviously we've been hearing all day the investigation is still on going, in the preliminary stages. can you tell us a little bit more about what the investigation entails, who is in there now, who has been in, who still has to go in and to investigate because obviously we heard there are different levels of this. >> sure. because there are still so many people sheltering in place we want to go through every inch of the mall to make sure that there were no additional victims, maybe sure everyone was safe,
make sure there weren't any explosive. if you can picture a large mall, right? the places that we know. the public places but you don't see how many rest rooms and back offices and hallways there are. tactical teams went through every inch of the small to clear it before the investigators got a chance to go in. now they're going threw. it's essentially a very, very large crime scene. >> you have howard kreent count investigators, police department, everyone, that has created some confusion. >> our police department has taken the lead. all the other folks, state police, federal partners, other county agencies have been here in support of us. and incredibly grateful for their support. we're investigating this like we would any other crime. it's just a much more public event and a much larger crime scene. i know that doesn't sound -- sounds like i'm minimizing it. i'm not. that's what we're doing now. so when it comes to not being
able to know the motive, as the chief talked about earlier, they haven't been able to just figure out who the shooter is. he does have lots of ammunition on him so they're being very cautious. believe it or not even though we've been here for a number of hours it's still very early in the investigation. >> obviously this was 11:15 on a saturday morning in a mall. do you have any sense of how many people were inside and how long it took to get everybody out and when that finally concluded, the evacuation? >> we don't know the exact numbers. we know -- probably at this mall every other day, my wife, my two daughters. it's packed on a saturday morning. this is a very vibrant community. and this is a very successful mall. so there were, you know, thousands of people here. we just don't know exactly how many. and you saw the pictures of people coming out. you know, as we evacuated each area. it took some time and there were people hiding sheltering in place for hours. i know you've talked to some of them, doing exactly what we ask
people to do. if they're unsure, lock themselves in a room. shelter in place. so it was a very methodical process that took a long time to clear the mall and now the investigation is going to take a long time. >> so in terms of that, can you tell us what the mall is like inside now and when you may reopen it? >> sure. well, it won't be me deciding to reopen it. the mall owners and general growth properties we've been coordinating with. whether or not they open tomorrow, they will announce -- it's my understanding there's some damage to some of the storefronts and doors as police, you know, got into some spaces and so there will be some clean-up and so the mall will announce how long it will take to get? >> earlier you were saying that the two victims are adults, male and female in their 20s, who were employees of the store. have you yet finished telling the next of kin yet? do you know when we will know their identities? >> i believe that's happening right now.
so it should be very soon. >> okay. and as far as the suspect is concerned, we still don't know the identity. do you know about that will happen? >> we don't. as the chief said, they're taking their time, being cautious, because he does have some -- so much ammunition, it appears in and around him. out of abundance of caution, i want to be careful. obviously our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and then their loved ones. >> and the five injured, have you spoken with them? >> our investigators are with them, have spoken to them, and are in different levels of process at the hospital. >> good luck with the investigation. thanks so much for taking the time. >> thank you very much. >> so miguel, that was ken ulman, howard county executive who has been here all day dealing with the situation. >> erin mcpike in columbia, maryland, for us. thank you. chaotic moments there in columbia, maryland. we will be right back with more information on it. there's a new form of innovation taking shape.
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and our giant idaho potato truck is still missing. so my dog and i we're going to go find it. it's out there somewhere spreading the good word about idaho potatoes and raising money for meals on wheels. but we'd really like our truck back, so if you see it, let us know, would you? thanks. what? you are in the "cnn newsroom." i'm miguel marquez. it's our breaking news on cnn this hour, a man with a shotgun walked into a shopping mall in maryland and opened fire. this is columbia, maryland. three people are dead. one of them is the shooter. police say it looks like he killed himself.
cnn's erin mcpike is just outside the mall where we just heard from the cowahoward count police and executives a short time ago. erin, they said the mall is completely clear and the investigation is on. what do we know about the investigation? >> well, miguel, it's being looked at by a variety of levels, howard county police and also some federal investigators. what we don't yet know is when the mall will reopen. but i want to actually go now to lauren stapleton. she is 1 years old. she has worked here at this mall for a week. and she was a witness. so, lauren, can you tell us what you saw today? >> when i was down stairs at mcdonald's getting something for my boss, i turned around and i heard something that sounded like somebody dropping something off the top ledge. and it just continued. and i heard something say, shots fired, get down. so i grabbed a child and told the mom, come with me. we're leaving. you can't be here. so i got her into sears.
i alerted everybody in sears and told them, there's a gunman in the stores. get out now. i then ran all of the way upstairs and then went to my job and grabbed whatever i could and went back with the kid and took care of them while we barricaded the door so nobody could get? >> how did everyone respond to you when you said that? did they believe you? >> they did because the shots continued. it didn't stop. i don't know when they stopped. i don't know how many were done. it sounded like more than ten shots. >> so have you ever experienced anything close to it? can you tell us what it was like for you, especially since you're so young and you just started? >> i've never been in this situation. i just started running and my asthma kicked up. i didn't know what to do except for run and try to get to safety where i could. >> and when did you get out of the mall? how long did it take and when -- this is your mother, robin. when were you able to talk to her? >> as soon as i tried to